How to Enter & Exit Apple Watch Power Reserve Mode

Jan 21, 2017 - 4 Comments

Apple Watch Power Reserve mode Though Apple Watch battery lasts a reasonably long amount of time, having a powered off or dead battery Apple Watch on the wrist is not particularly useful. One helpful tip when you approach the lower bounds of battery remaining is to switch into Power Reserve Mode on Apple Watch. Power Reserve Mode turns the Apple Watch screen into just a watch, allowing you to at least tell the time when the battery gets quite low.

With Power Reserve Mode enabled, Apple Watch will cease all functions except a limited onscreen clock display. While you can enter Power Reserve at any time, this is not something you’d probably use for fun since it disables basically all features of Apple Watch like fitness tracking and heart rate monitoring, messaging, notifications, etc. With that said, it’s an incredibly effective way to continue to use the Apple Watch as a time-telling device in situations when it would otherwise run out of battery.

How to Enter & Enable Power Reserve Mode on Apple Watch

On newer watchOS versions enter Power Reserve with:

  1. Swipe up on the watch face to go to Control Center
  2. Locate the battery screen and tap on the battery percentage indicator
  3. Tap on Power Reserve to enable

On older WatchOS versions:

  1. Hold down the Power button on the Apple Watch (this is the longer button on the side of the watch, underneath the rotating dial crown button)
  2. Slide right on “Power Reserve” to switch into and enable Power Reserve mode on Apple Watch

How to enable Power Reserve on Apple Watch

Power Reserve instantly activates and the screen changes to a simple digital clock face to reflect this. Here is an example of what the difference between a standard Apple Watch face, using the Modular watch, vs the Power Reserve watch face:

Apple Watch Modular vs Apple Watch Power Reserve display

As you can see, with Power Reserve you just get a simple clock, that’s it. All other features on the Apple Watch are disabled. The Watch in this power saving mode can last a very long time however, and I’ve managed to squeeze many hours out of it after the regular Watch functions have drained battery down into the single digits.

How to Exit & Disable Power Reserve Mode on Apple Watch

  • Hold down the Power button on Apple Watch until you see the  Apple logo

Restart the Apple Watch

This basically reboots the Apple Watch. While you can exit out of Power Reserve mode at nearly any time (unless battery is critically low), you’ll immediately start draining battery again, so if you’re lingering at 1% or 2%, you’ll probably want to stay in Power Reserve until you can access the Apple Watch charger.

So, to reiterate, Power Reserve Mode enables a simple clock on Apple Watch screen, and that simple clock is all you get. That may seem limited and frustrating, but consider it’s use case and you’ll understand why this feature is actually really great. Besides, having a clock on your wrist is certainly better than having a dead black screen on your wrist, right?

Apple Watch in Power Reserve mode

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Apple Watch, Tips & Tricks

4 Comments

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  1. avenged110 says:

    Super helpful feature, I just wish they would have left a tiny date indicator on the face in addition to the time.

  2. Grim Creeper says:

    This tip might seriously help the 3 watch owners out there!

  3. Ken Henry says:

    Question! Apple Nike watch accuracy, I just ran 30k 01/21/2017 my watch said I ran 23.69mi the course was 18.6mi. Should it be that much differents?

  4. Uniblab says:

    My Series 2 Watch tends to end up with ~70% remaining battery at the end of a day. Rather than throwing it on the charger, I put it into Power Reserve overnight. In the morning, I bring it out of Power Reserve, get a full second day of use. At the end of that day, I typically have 25-35% remaining. At that point, I usually place it on the charger, though I probably could get away with a second night of Power Reserve. In fact, I probably need to remember to let it drain all the way once (or more) a month.

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